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Unlike the BMAT or GAMSAT the UCAT doesn’t contain any curriculum content, rather your cognitive and reasoning abilities are being tested – this makes it more difficult to take notes during revision.
Your notes are your method of taking the information that you’re exposed to and recording it in a form that makes sense to you. When you do this, you learn more effectively.
I’m about to share with you what worked for me when I took the exam – my note taking method focussed on reminding rather than simply recording, and enabled me to study more efficiently for the exam.
I suggest combining the Outline Method of note taking, where you create bullet points based out of the materials you are reading, with the Cornell method where you create sections based on the main content of the material you are reading.
When it comes to preparing for the UCAT split your notepad into 6 sections. One section for each subtest (verbal, quantitative, abstract, Decision Making and Situational Judgement) and a final section for analysis. For example, the first 10 pages will be dedicated to Verbal reasoning notes, the next 10 pages to Quantitative Reasoning and so on.
Within each subtest you will record the following:
- Mistakes or Issues
- Tips and Expected Outcome
Mistakes or Issues: These are shortcomings in skills or general areas of weakness hindering you from achieving your target score.
Tips & Expected Outcome: These are tips, techniques and strategies to help answer questions more accurately and efficiently. Also indicate the expected outcome. For example: Use keyword strategy to improve speed in VR.
Warnings: These are potential pitfalls that you may fall into. Avoid these mistakes will help improve your score. For example: Skimming each paragraph can potentially result to digesting information from the text that isn’t needed.
Reminders: These are notes-to-self to remember anything that might come out of practising questions or reading materials. For example: Base your answer solely on the information in the passage.
Summary: These are also notes-to-self summarising what you have learned from evaluating a practice test, can also include insight upon testing a specific technique or strategy.
In the last section for analysis you can include the results for all your mocks, practice tests and mini-tests to refer back to.
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